The Richer Web App: A Patch Job

Some of the bigger players are starting to use some pretty nifty tricks to make the web experience a lot richer for users. Sites like Gmail, My Yahoo, Amazon’s A9 and others are relying on a mixture of Javascript/DHTML, XML over HTTP and the like.
It’s great to see technology finally start to catch up with the train-wreck of an application platform that is the World Wide Web. Nevertheless, I don’t think this is a phenomena that is going to catch for a couple of reasons. First, the mixture of talent necessary to make this stuff a reality is relatively hard to find (and most smaller companies/shops won’t bother to spend it anyway). Secondly, I think the web browser’s days as a application delivery mechanism are numbered anyway. It is admittedly years, not months, away. It’s not 10 years though. It’s looking like 2-4.
The biggest jolt will undoubtedly be the release of Microsoft’s Longhorn operating system. Organizations should seriously think about their existing archtectures and how easily they’ll plug into this new platform of application delivery and presentation.
Until then, we live with what we’ve got – both as users and developers.

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